Daugavpils, with a population of over 80,000, is the second-largest city in Latvia. As part of the Russian Empire and the former Soviet Union, the city has long-standing ties to Russia and standard modern Russian is the native language and language of daily communication for most residents. This setting and the structure of the program, which includes homestay accommodations and local peer language partners, provides students the opportunity to have a full language immersion experience. As Latvia is a member of the European Union and a part of the Schengen Area, US citizens may travel to Latvia for up to 180 days without a visa.
About the Program
This program, offered through Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ affiliation with the Learn Russian in the EU program, is based at the University of Daugavpils. Students will take classes with other study abroad students and Russian language-learners from around the world.
HWS students may enroll in any of four program tracks offered through the program, all of which include intensive Russian language study offered at the intermediate, advanced, and superior levels. In addition, a wide range of elective courses are available in areas including history, international relations, literature, political science, Eastern European and Baltic Studies, and the sciences.
The Russian Language, Literature and Culture track is designed for students majoring in Russian Area Studies and Russian language. It includes intensive language study and elective courses (in Russian) on Russian literature, culture, and history.
The Russian Language and Eastern European Studies track targets students majoring in history, international relations, political science, or (Eastern) European Studies who also study Russian as a foreign language.
The Russian Language and Political Science track is intended for students in international relations or political science (particularly those interested in security studies) who also study Russian as a foreign language.
The Russian Language and Natural Sciences (STEM) track is designed for students in the natural sciences/STEM who also study Russian as a foreign language. Courses may be offered in English, a mix of English/Russian, or in Russian only depending on students’ linguistic proficiency.
This program is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good academic and social standing who have a minimum GPA of 2.5. While more previous Russian language experience is preferred, all students admitted to this program must successfully complete at least one year of Russian language study at HWS prior to going abroad.
All students will reside in a homestay (with a private room) with Russian-speaking host families. The homestay will serve to enhance the student’s linguistic skills and to facilitate immersion into the local community and culture. Native Russian-speaking university students serve as one-on-one “peer communication partners” to provide additional language support to visiting students.
A rich menu of excursions in and around Daugavpils, throughout Latvia, and to neighboring Lithuania are included in the program. Program staff also arrange opportunities for students to participate in a variety of sports and other activities, including cooking classes, dance, and music. Students will have ample opportunity to meet and interact with other visiting students, as well as local students and residents, and to develop their language skills. Optional excursions to Russia or Belarus may be offered for an additional fee.
Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, a 1/2 board fee, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, housing with partial board, and program-related activities and excursions. Students should plan to bring the remaining 1/2 board fee (about $1500) to cover meals not included.
Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books/course materials, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation, and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1200-$1400 from the East Coast and books/course materials at $100. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1250 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget may be able to manage with less. If you are concerned about finances we strongly encourage you to talk to the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your specific situation.
HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.
This program is offered every semester.
All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and typically will be in late September/early October (for Fall programs) and late February/early March (for Spring programs).
IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.
HANDBOOKS COMING SOON
Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.
NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.
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